Monday, March 14, 2016

The Blessing- Week 33

I feel like I am being completely disobedient right now because I'm convinced it can't be Monday yet. That was definitely just a day or two ago...

The work is always great but this week it even stepped up and was absolutely wonderful! We had an all around incredible missionary week. We found new investigators, worked with progressing investigators, made contact with and worked with many less-active members and were blessed by the strength and support of many active members. Weeks like this are always the best and most ideal for missionary work. I look forward to this upcoming week and hope for similar results!

It was a really busy and crazy week filled with many miracles and blessings!

To start off, we are teaching the foreign exchange students of a family in our ward. Tessa, from Germany and Hiedi from Ecuador (pronounced Haiti). They are incredible young women who are really progressing in the gospel but because of the rules they are obligated to follow as foreign exchange students, they cannot join religious groups during their time in America so they can't be baptized. But Tessa asked if missionaries could teach her family who lives in Germany. So we sent the referral and the missionaries made contact last week and set up an appointment for today. So Tessa invited us to come over today so that her family could Skype for the lesson. It was incredible! The missionaries there ended up showing up an hour late so before they got there we had a lesson with Tessa and Hiedi about Jesus Christ and His Resurrection. Being from Germany, Tessa hasn't been exposed to religion and consequentially hasn't been taught to believe in God and doesn't know what will happen after we die. As you and I can imagine it would really be devastating and fearful not knowing what will happen to our bodies and spirits after we die but this lesson was really incredible and absolutely led by the spirit. The missionaries came soon after our lesson ended which was a really neat experience being able to talk to missionaries serving in Germany. My hopes and prayers are with them that they will be led by the Spirit and that Tessa's family will be open minded and receptive to this glorious truth we enjoy.

We met Demonte about a month ago and tried to see him twice since that time and actually met his girlfriend one of those times but missed him. We tried him once again this week and were able to contact him. He came out and said "Either this is a really good time or a really bad time.. I actually just got out of prison this morning." So of course we told him it was a really good time and were able to talk to him about the redeeming and enabling power of Christ's Atonement. He had been in prison for a minor thing for 3 weeks but during that time found himself deeply divulged in religious study. He is very sorry for his transgressions and it was such an incredible experience testifying of Christ and of His miraculous Atonement. I am so grateful for Christ and all He has done for me and each of us.

We rode the bus down to the City for an appointment with an investigator, Chris. We have set many appointments with him and many of them have fallen through but this week we were able to actually meet with him for a lesson. We found out that he had been in the hospital for the last two days with heart problems and that he had just been released that morning just in time for him to go to dialysis which he has had to do for the last 14 years. We went on to have what became really one of the most up and down, spiritually powerful and scary lessons I have had my entire time serving.. That is another story for another day though.:) Our lesson went well though and ended with a priesthood blessing. Anyways, we only expected to be at his house for a half an hour but were really there for about 55 minutes. So we took off running from his house back to the state capitol building to try and catch the last bus going back to Edmond for the night. We rounded the corner, only 100 yards away from the bus stop, to find the bus come screaming right passed us.. We tried calling several members to ask if they could come pick us up but not one answered. So I turned to Elder Morton and said "Well. Think of the story you will be able to tell your kids.." He caught the direction I was heading and we started off again running knowing full well that our apartment was 13 miles away from where we were. Several miles into our run a woman pulled us over and asked if she could give us a ride and we tried explaining our rules as missionaries and not being able to ride with a woman without another male and the sweet old lady just couldn't understand why an old grandma couldn't give us "sweet young men" a ride. She was so cute and sweet and we left her with a Book of Mormon and took off again. 2 hours and 20 minutes, 13 miles, sweat, cramps, and many deep breaths later we arrived at our apartment. I can now say I ran a half marathon on my mission! Hahah


 The Helgenberger boys, Roxbert and Micrain were interviewed and found worthy to receive the Aaronic Priesthood this week. That family is progressing so well and doing all the right things. I am so grateful to be apart of their conversion and to see how the Lord is working in their lives! They taught us the message of the restoration this week and it was such a touching and powerful experience for me. They truly taught with power and authority by teaching by the Spirit. They are going to be incredible missionaries:) It was so cute when Chas, the youngest at 10 years old, turned to Elder Morton and I and said "We are blessed with families by God and Jesus. I love my family and am so grateful for them." She then proceeded to ask "What does that mean to you?" haha What a sweet and tender moment that I will forever cherish!

Keep the faith,

Elder Ricks

We get to work with these incredible people from OKFD (Oklahoma Foundation for the Disabled) each week. We have been teaching them for the last month how to run so that they can compete in the Special Olympics this spring. I can't tell you how much I love each of these guys and just how special they are to me. They say some of the funniest and sweetest things! It certainly has been a great opportunity and experience for me to be able to teach them. They are so excited to compete and want us to come when they do it! Such a neat and special relationship I will cherish forever:)
 ​Scott He will Only run with "My Man" and he wins every time and says "Got you!". 
(I'm his man haha he is so funny!)
  Kimberly and Lamar! Two of the coolest cats you'll ever meet. They are so funny!
  Golfing again for P-day this morning

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